A new poll from Rasmussen Reports shows Donald Trump edging Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical general election match-up. The poll, of likely voters, finds Trump with 41 percent, followed closely by Clinton with 39 percent.
While the poll is certainly good news for Trump supporters, there is one interesting caveat to the result. Voters were not given the option of simply staying home and not voting. Last week, when a Rasmussen poll gave voters that option, Trump and Clinton were tied, taking 38 percent of the vote each.
Even with the “staying home” option removed, 20 percent of voters say they would support a third candidate or are undecided between Trump and Clinton.
Obviously, one can’t really remove the “stay home” option for voters. Even if one were able to do this, however, the benefit to Trump is slight. Essentially, the race between Trump and Clinton is a toss-up, according to Rasmussen.
Indeed, Rasmussen polling in the race has been largely static over the past six months. In October, Trump lead Clinton by an almost equal amount, 38-36 percent. In December, Clinton had the edge, 37-36, over Trump. Clinton’s best showing was in early March, when she led the GOP frontrunner by five points, 41-36.
Both Trump and Clinton are still facing some headwinds among their party’s voters. Trump has the support of just 73 percent of Republicans in a general election contest, while Clinton has the backing of just 77 percent of Democrats. Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats to support a third-party candidate.